Gerald “Jerry” Baldwin is an American businessman who, along with Gordon Bowker and Zev Siegl, founded Starbucks, in Seattle, in 1971. He is a Sonoma Valley vintner, and co-founder of J. Baldwin Wines.
Jerry Baldwin learned the coffee trade from Alfred Peet, whose store Peet’s Coffee & Tea, was the inspiration for Starbucks. Starbucks purchased roasted coffee beans from Peet’s during its first year of operation. Baldwin has recalled Peet as being a “very generous” mentor. In 1984, when Peet’s was offered for sale, Baldwin led a group of investors, including Bowker, to purchase the company. In 1987, he sold his interests in Starbucks. Baldwin was chairman of Peet’s until 2001, when Peet’s went public, and he became a director of the company.
Baldwin served as director and founding chairman of the Technical Standards Committee of the Specialty Coffee Association of America; president of Association Scientifique International du Cafe (ASIC); and chairman of the Coffee Quality Institute. He was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Specialty Coffee Association of America. He is a director of TechnoServe, an NGO working in Latin America and Africa.
In 2000, he and his wife, photographer Jane Baldwin, established J. Baldwin Wines, a zinfandel and petite sirah grower and producer located in Sonoma Valley, California. Jerry Baldwin’s net worth was estimated to be $2.4 million in 2018.